Let's Talk About Rats and Mice
No one really likes the idea of rats, but unfortunately they are part of urban living along with their fellow rodents, mice.
Rat Infestation Signs
Rats are not that keen on being seen in daylight and are more active at night where they hang out in subfloor areas, in the roof area, behind walls or in nests outdoors. The obvious signs are (1) seeing a rat, (2) droppings (3) chewed wires and (4) noises in the roof.
The Roof rat, 'black rat' is found in roofs as the name suggests. They are smaller and more timid than the Norway rat. They are also a little cleaner than the Norway rat preferring to stay out of sewers. The Roof rat is small so it is able to slip tight spaces.
The Norway rat also known 'brown rat', 'water rat' or 'sewer rat', weighs around 450g making it the largest of the species. Not only are they undesirable they can become aggressive if they are disturbed. The Norway rat nests in sewers and are good swimmers. The thought of having a rat that comes from sewer into your home isn't pleasant because they carry disease and germs that they easily share with your family.
Rats and Mice are smart and they love to bludge off humans that provide them with food, shelter and water.
Another problem with a rat or mouse infestation is they can cause damage to your property, including the risk of fires from chewed wires, the spread of disease and contamination of food and bench tops.
Mice like to set up home in roof spaces, interior wall cavities and even furniture. Their tiny frame enables them to squeeze through tiny places and pipes.
How To Control Rats and Mice
Take away their food
Don't leave these resourceful vermin anything to eat so ensure your garbage bins are fully covered at all times, pick up composting fruit and vegetables in the garden, if you use a compost bin make sure it's not an invitation for rats and mice to enter, don't leave leftover food lying around and keep your pet food out only during the day.
Don't give them a home
Make sure there are no spaces for vermin to enter into the cavities of your walls, roof or subfloors. Keep your yard clutter free because rats and mice will set up home in wood piles, heavy vegetation, old pipes and almost anything that provides shelter.
Make sure that you don't offer a bridge from a tree to your roof by trimming any branches that are touching your home.
Use bait and traps
Hardware stores sell traps and baits for vermin. If you are using traps ensure that there is no danger to children and pets. Baits and poisons are toxic and should only be used outside the home and again, ensure these baits can't be touched or ingested by children or pets. Always follow the instructions of the product.
Call your pest inspector
The safest and most efficient way to rid your home of rats and mice is to call your local pest inspector. Pest inspectors are trained in identifying the pest and have the tools and equipment to safely eradicate the problem.